WILBRAHAM — With only two contested races in the field, the May 18 Town Election saw a slightly higher return from voters, largely attributed to mail in voting, sparked by this year’s presidential election.

Unlike other towns in the region, each ballot slot saw at least one candidate vying for the vacant position.
Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee candidates Lisa Murray and Timothy Collins bested opposition D. John McCarthy by a respective vote count of 1,213 and 943 to 573. Murray, an incumbent, now stays on for another three-year term.

In the race for Planning Board, newcomer Bradley Gregory defeated Mary McCarthy 900-720.

Marc Ducey, Jane Clark and Todd Michael Magill, running unopposed for positions on the Select Board, moderator and cemetery commissioner respectively all will assume those roles, as will Assistant Town Clerk Deborah Brennan who also running alone, will become the new town clerk, replacing retiring Town Clerk Carole Tardif.

Running for reelection, Assessor Lawrence G. Labarbera, Water Commissioner James B. Dunbar and Library Trustee Karen M. Grycel ran unopposed and retain their positions. Grycel will be joined by Barbara Jeanne Galanek who joins her as a library trustee.

Brennan said balloting ran smoothly with an expected low turnout of 14.6 % of the town’s registered voters, which she said was expected.

“Honestly, the vote by mail did help with turnout,” she said. “Usually, it’s less than 10% and probably a lot of them wouldn’t have voted if we didn’t send them a ballot.”

Of the approximately 2,000 ballots mailed out by the town, some 750 were returned.